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In the president v the porn star, Stormy Daniels is a legal dominatrix

Stormy was working blue, and the judge was seeing red. Justice Juan Merchan chided Donald Trump’s lawyer Susan Necheles, saying he didn’t understand why she hadn’t objected to seamy details about the president and the porn star spilling out. “Why on earth she wouldn’t object to the mention of a condom I don’t understand,” Merchan complained about Necheles.

But I wanted to hear about the condom – or lack thereof. The New York trial involves an abstruse legal strategy and illusory crime. It’s the weakest of the cases against Trump. It’s certainly not putting him on trial for the attempted coup d’état he incited or for treating top secret documents as dinner conversation fodder at his golf clubs. But it now seems almost certain that none of the other cases will be resolved before the election.

Defence lawyer Susan Necheles (in pink) cross-examines Stormy Daniels (right) as Donald Trump (left) looks on in Manhattan criminal court.Credit: AP

So we’re left with a two-bit case that has devolved into dirty bits, filled with salacious details – a spanking, a missionary position and ping-ponging insults like “horse face” and “orange turd”.

Yet, even if it plays like a cheesy old Cinemax “After Dark” show, it’s still illuminating. The case doesn’t hinge on Stormy Daniels’ story about her liaison with Trump, or even if the former president is lying when he says they didn’t have sex. (He would say that, wouldn’t he?) It’s instructive about the moral values – or lack thereof – of our once and perhaps future president.

We know that Trump is a louche operator. But, given that he is leading in crucial swing states, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of just how louche.

Trump’s legal team seems to be hoping that Hope Hicks and Madeleine Westerhout, his former aides who tearily testified for the prosecution, gave the impression that he didn’t want the Stormy story to come out on the eve of the 2016 election because he was tenderly concerned about how it would affect Melania, rather than selfishly concerned about his presidential aspirations.

Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels in 2006. He was 60, she was 27. He is accused of falsifying business records to hide a hush-money payment to her.

Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels in 2006. He was 60, she was 27. He is accused of falsifying business records to hide a hush-money payment to her.Credit: MySpace.com/StormyDaniels

Asked about Trump’s intentions, Stormy offered a shrug to the jury, saying, “I wouldn’t know what he wanted to protect.” In her telling, Trump wasn’t concerned about his wife, with a new baby at home. He told Stormy not to worry about Melania. Stormy said he was more focused on her resemblance to Ivanka and a possible threesome with another blonde porn star, Alana Evans, of It’s Okay! She’s My Mother in Law 13 and Dirty Little Sex Brats 9.

When Necheles tried to make Stormy seem tawdry on cross-examination, the mistress of exotica flipped the script. Sure, she was an opportunist and a finagler and a marketer of tacky products, she conceded in essence, but if it was OK for a man who ascended to the highest office in the land, wasn’t it OK for her?

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